Interesting tern at Wenas Lake
- On my way back from doing field work in the Wenas today, I spotted a tern
flying over the north end of the lake. A view with my scope lead to a
confusing ID. The bird was not a Caspian Tern nor was it a Black Tern. I
was left to muddle over Common or Forster's. The back and mantle was
uniformly gray. The bird did not have a completely black cap. Common Terns
do not molt into winter plumage until they are out of the U.S. and immatures
have a dark shoulder bar which this bird did not have. A dark eye type
patch was evident of a winter plumage Forster's but the tail looked fairly
short, not deeply forked. Forster's molt into winter plumage by mid-August.
Unfortunately, I did not make not of a white rump contrasting with the gray
back that ID's a Forster's. Thus, from all this, I am concluding that it
was a Forster's Tern.
Yakima (Terrace Heights)
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